With no toilet, Shivamogga girl stressed, malnourished

Express News Service

SHIVAMOGGA: The Covid-induced lockdown has led people to face different kinds of problems. Here is a unique and distressing one. Ever since schools closed two years ago due to the pandemic, this seventh standard girl student has been wracked by deep mental stress and severe malnourishment, all because her family does not have access to a toilet.

The shy girl refuses to eat a healthy, full meal, as she is scared of going to attend nature’s call in the open, which has led to malnutrition and mental stress. Her mother, Pavithra (name changed), told The New Indian Express that she has submitted several applications to the city corporation to help them build a toilet, but there has been no response. When she enquired recently, she was told that there is no such scheme anymore.

Pavithra and her husband are agriculture labourers. They have the daughter and a son, who is differently abled. Pavithra said that she and her husband attend nature’s call when they go to farms for work. Earlier, the girl was using the toilet facility at her school and there was no problem. But with schools closed since the lockdown, she has been facing issues.

“My daughter and I have to wait till late night and walk a long distance to attend nature’s call. My daughter is shy and holds herself back and eats less as she is scared of going out to attend nature’s call during the day. Once she told us that she wants to commit suicide as she does not want to defecate in the open,” she said.

The family has given five requests to the city corporation, but they have not been considered, she added.

Mayor Sunita Annappa said, “During the previous tenure of the corporation, there was a scheme to grant Rs 10,000 towards the construction of toilets for poor families. But there is no such scheme now. Let the family approach the corporation, we will try to resolve the issue.”

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